Aleix Espargaro claimed only his second ever MotoGP World Championship victory as he took the lead on the final lap of a chaotic British Grand Prix.
Marco Bezzecchi lined up on pole once again after closing in on the Championship leader after yesterdays Sprint Race. After a wet Sprint Race yesterday the MotoGP riders were ready to enjoy a full distance race around a dry Silverstone, but would the British weather hold?
As the lights went out Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) stormed into the lead after an amazing start from the front row of the grid. At the same time Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) ran it on at the first corner and dropped back to 21st place.
Miller held the lead halfway through the first lap, with two Ducati riders hot on his heels. Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) was second place and had Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) found himself in third. However, Bagnaia was desperate to get passed his good mate and took P2 at the end of the first lap.
Down into Brooklands on the second lap Bezzecchi got his own back on Bagnaia and retook second place. But immediately after at Woodcote Bagnaia passed Bezzecchi again and then on the exit of Copse Corner Bagnaia stormed his way to the lead as he passed Miller.
Three laps in and Bagnaia and Bezzecchi had dropped Miller and the two Championship contenders were looking to start their own battle out at the front. Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) continued on his disastrous form as he crashed out on Lap 3.
As the race began to settle down it was Bagnaia leading from Bezzecchi, Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing), Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP) and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing). But on Lap six yesterdays Sprint Race winner, A.Marquez, had pulled out of the race after what seemed to be an issue with his gear lever.
Drama struck later in the sixth lap as Bezzecchi lost the front into Stowe and gave second place to Espargaro. It seemed like a battle between the Ducati and the Aprilia rider was brewing.
At half race distance it was still Bagnaia leading the way from the two Aprilia riders of Espargaro and Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing), with Binder and Miguel Oliveira (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team) in fourth and fifth place.
Eight laps to go and the white flag with a red cross was displayed meaning only one thing, the rain had arrived! Many questions would have now been going through the riders minds as they crossed the line to start the 14th lap.
The front four had closed together with six laps to go as Vinales and Espargaro looked eager to blast passed Bagnaia at the front. Vinales sat up Espargaro around Luffield and took second place off of his team-mate and began to hunt down Bagnaia.
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), a rider who used to love mixed conditions, crashed out of the race on lap 15. Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) was caught up in Marquez's crash and dropped back to 18th, whilst fellow Italians Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP) dived into the pit lane to swap bikes for a wet setup.
Espargaro, Binder and Vinales continued their three way duel for second place, which allowed Bagnaia to keep a decent lead over the trio behind him. Out of nowhere Oliveira launched himself passed Binder and Vinales and catapulted himself into the podium places with only three laps to go.
The 2021 World Champions weekend went from bad to worse as Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) plummeted down the order after contact with Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team). The Yamaha rider pulled into the pit lane after losing his front fairing and had to go back out on his second bike.
Two laps to go and the battle for the win was hotting up while the rain was falling. Binder and Oliveira were battling for third whilst Espargaro was stalking Bagnaia, as they crossed the line to start the final lap of a dramatic British Grand Prix!
On the last lap Espargaro blast passed Bagnaia out of Copse Corner after a slight mistake from the Championship leader. Espargaro crossed the line to take his first win of the 2023 season and claimed his second ever MotoGP race win!
|2023 British MotoGP | Silverstone, UK | Race Results | Round 9 of 20|
|1||Aleix Espargaro||🇪🇦||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||40:40.367|
|2||Pecco Bagnaia||🇮🇹||Ducati Leonovo Team||Ducati GP23||+0.215|
|3||Brad Binder||🇿🇦||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM RC16||+0.680|
|4||Miguel Oliveira||🇵🇹||CryptoData RNF Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||+0.750|
|5||Maverick Vinales||🇪🇦||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||+2.101|
|6||Jorge Martin||🇪🇦||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati GP23||+7.903|
|7||Luca Marini||🇮🇹||Mooney VR46 Racing||Ducati GP22||+9.099|
|8||Jack Miller||🇦🇺||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM RC16||+9.298|
|9||Johann Zarco||🇨🇵||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati GP23||+9.958|
|10||Raul Fernandez||🇪🇦||CryptoData RNF Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||+19.947|
|11||Augusto Fernandez||🇪🇦||GasGas Factory Racing Tech3||KTM RC16||+20.296|
|12||Pol Espargaro||🇪🇦||GasGas Factory Racing Tech3||KTM RC16||+1:06.120|
|13||Fabio di Giannantonio||🇮🇹||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati GP22||+1:27.605|
|14||Franco Morbidelli||🇮🇹||Monster Energy Yamaha||Yamaha M1||+1:28.913|
|15||Fabio Quartararo||🇨🇵||Monster Energy Yamaha||Yamaha M1||+1:29.075|
|16||Takaaki Nakagami||🇯🇵||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda RC213V||+1:38.573|
|17||Iker Lecuona||🇪🇦||LCR Honda Castrol||Honda RC213V||+1:49.674|
|DNF||Marco Bezzecchi||🇮🇹||Mooney VR46 Racing||Ducati GP22|
|DNF||Alex Marquez||🇪🇦||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati GP22|
|DNF||Enea Bastianini||🇮🇹||Ducati Leonovo Team||Ducati GP23|
|DNF||Joan Mir||🇪🇦||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V|
|DNF||Marc Marquez||🇪🇦||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V|